Bernie Goldbach (topgold) wrote,
Bernie Goldbach

Saving Berkeley's legacy

GARRINGREEN HOTSPOT -- My local TD (similar to a member of the US House of Representatives), John McGuinness, is trying to prevent the imminent collapse of Dysart Castle near Thomastown, Co Kilkenny. Dysart was the childhood home of the 18th-century philosopher, George Berkeley.

I associated Berkeley with ideas. George Berkeley is best known for his empiricist philosophy, which holds that everything save the spiritual exists only in so far as it is perceived by the senses.

Berkeley predates the American Revolution. He was a fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. Then he took a seat in the Irish House of Lords in 1737. Credited by Alexander Pope with "ev'ry virtue under heav'n", Berkeley spent some time in America and gave his name to the Californian city of the same name. That's where I first learned to revere the name.

In March, a large crack appeared in the wall of the castle. It portends more structural work than the Kilkennny County Council can fund.

The archaeological complex around Dysart Castle shows evidence of a ninth-century church which may have been extended in the 12th century by the Augustinian Order.

The castle keep dates from 1460; the adjoining Berkeley House dates from about 1650. And a Georgian farmhouse is currently being restored.

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